Emerging Mental Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries (EMERALD)(2013-2017)

Emerald is a five year multinational health system research project lead by King’s College London and funded by the European Commission. The project is being implemented in six countries namely Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda. The main objective of the project is to improve mental health outcomes by enhancing the national health system performance. The project aims to identify key health system barriers as well as solutions for the large scale delivery of mental health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) thus improving mental health outcomes in a fair and efficient way.

 In Nepal, the project is implemented mainly in Chitwan and Kathmandu districts. The project activities include a) assessment of capacity building needs and constraints of policy makers, researchers and service users/caregivers b) development, delivery and evaluation of short term mental health training courses c) estimation of resources needs for mental health through UN One Health Tool (OHT) and preparation of sustainable mental health financing mechanisms d) analysis of mental health laws, plans and policies and governance systems e) review of current health information system and development and evaluation of mental health indicators.

Major achievements to date include, a) development of three training modules for primary health care workers on mental health and psychosocial support, b)  preparation of a draft mental health chapter  for Nepal government’s  proposed Comprehensive Health Act, c) submission of an academic paper resulting from cross-country situation analysis of Health Management Information System (HMIS) of six countries in Africa and Asia, d) completion of research projects on service user involvement, legal and policy context for mental health and development of feasible mental health indicators to be included in routine HMIS.